Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Part I : Learning The Remote Control Codes

The first part of getting ready to control my with my pc is to learn all the remote control codes that are transmitted by the V2's infrared remote. I use the USB UIRT created by Jon Rhees. It is an infrared (IR) signal decoder and transmitter that connects to a Windows based PC via a USB port. It can learn the IR signals of most of the remote controls for consumer electronics devices like those that operate your television or VCR. The Robosapien V2 and most of WowWee's other remote control toys and robots use this style of IR as opposed to the IRDA protocol used by your typical laptop computer. This is a heartbreak because it means that you can't use the built-in IR transmitter on your laptop to control your Robosapien V2, or any other consumer IR device. You have to have a device like the USB UIRT to handle be able to control consumer IR devices.

Learning the signals of the Robosapien V2 will be a time consuming job because the V2 has such a large repertoire of movements. So many that, there are three shift buttons on the remote; SHIFT1, SHIFT2, and SHIFT3! For many of the movements you use one or more combinations of the SHIFT buttons along with one of the joysticks or one of the special buttons to trigger a desired move. This makes complete mastery of the Robosapien V2's suite of movements and special functions via the remote control a truly daunting task.

Conversely, it makes the use of voice commands and preprogrammed scripts almost a necessity to truly explore the immense variety and power of your new robot. I'll be using the USB UIRT in LEARN mode all day tomorrow, diligently recording each remote control command, naming it, and assigning it a verbal command phrase. Once I have done that, Robosapien Dance Machine will be able to take the command library I built, and whenver I say a particular verbal command phrase, play back the corrresponding IR codes out the USB UIRT to make the Robosapien V2 do what I want it to do.

In addition, Robosapien Dance Machine will allow me to chain the commands together on an easy drag and drop workspace and save them as a library of scripts that I can execute with a single verbal command. For example, I could create a script that makes the V2 burp, laugh, wiggle side to side and announce his plans for world domination, whenever I say "So what do you want from life?".

Much, much, more coming soon...

Did you end up writing your library file ?
I'm trying to do the same thing as you've described at the moment.
Just got a spidersapien (Robosapien V2) and a USBUIRT.
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